Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Adventurers issue 4 pen and ink art complete. On to the digital!

All the pen art is photocopied and scanned in ready to be touched up for issue 4.

A few weeks ago I finished the pen line art for The Adventurers issue 4. I'm currently applying digital finishes and lettering to each page in a far greater extent than previous issues of Adventurers. The main reason is that issue 4 is set at night and I like having the option to use "undo" if any shadows  don't look quite right. A secondary reason is I actually know a little bit more about how to use digital programs compared to two years ago.  I guess you could call the process for issue 4 a "tradigital" process.

Despite a lot of work left to go on issue 4, it really felt  momentous completing the final page inks for a number of reasons:

  • It's the conclusion of the first story arc and the set up for future arcs. 
  • I've been working on The Adventurers, from concept to print, for at least 13 years! It is nice to get closer to the point I envisioned (albeit a little differently) so long ago and start to explore new story paths.
  • Issue 4 is a very demanding issue in itself. It's longer at 24 pages, the first time I use splash pages, a lot of extra big panels and some challenging sequences that require me to push my artistic ability.
  • It's also the last time I'll be making comics using the "tradigital" process I have been using. I plan to incorporate a lot more of the digital component for future stories.

For previous issues I largely used the computer for lettering. I experimented more in issue 3 with some tiny art touch ups and using blast line tools to add some drama. In issue 4 I kept in mind what could be done digitally to try and save time. Issue 4 spot blacks, blast lines, background details and even some entire back grounds have been added digitally. I've even used copy and paste in places rather than try to replicate identical images by hand (something my sister, Cara, told me to do for issue 1 but I was too stubborn to heed her good advice. I now know it is not "cheating" to use digital tools). Below is a sample of some panels that have been touched up digitally that I shared on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Panels start to come alive when the black is added.

Using heavy shadows is less risky since you can undo anything that doesn't look right.

Starry nights are a lot easier in digital.